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Rabies Health Anxiety & Hypochondria

frosted_frakes

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So I've decided to post my situation here, since I think it'll make me feel better:
About 2 weeks ago, my cats and I were in contact with a stray cat in my driveway. I had just gotten home from riding my bike when I noticed a cat in the driveway that didn't look like one of mine (I have 2). Issue was that my cats, who were outside at the time, both approached the stray cat; one was in a standoff with the cat a few feet apart, while the other attempted to make a friend out of this stranger cat. I was able to bring both of my cats inside while not harming or making direct contact with the stray in any way, but after heading inside I noticed two small scratches on the back of my right hand.

For a while, I was really worried that the stray cat somehow scratched me, but I'm almost 100% sure now that it was one of my cats that had scratched my hand. That didn't stop me from worrying, though. I instantly thought about rabies; what if the cat was rabid? What if it attacked one of my cats while I wasn't there and got saliva on them, and then they transferred the saliva to me when I touched their fur? (I know rabies only spreads via saliva, so I'm happy at least that it wasn't a bite). Both of my cats have been vaccinated for rabies, so it's no issue for them. I went to the doctor a week later and she said that I should be fine, and I also talked to a vet and reassured me that I probably shouldn't worry about this. Also, a few days after the scratch, I learned that someone's cat had gone missing in my neighborhood, and the description of the cat sounds like the cat I was in contact with. I also know that cat-to-human rabies is incredibly rare and hasn't been documented here in the US for at least several decades.

Overall, I am definitely feeling better about the situation now that some time has passed and the initial panic has faded (I honestly was really convinced I was going to die for around a week, and eventually I decided that I just couldn't panic like this anymore and so I began to calm down). But even now it still occupies the back of my head, and knowing that the incubation period for rabies usually varies from 3-12 weeks doesn't help the situation, knowing that I still have to wait much longer to know for sure. I would get the vaccine but since it usually runs at over $3k here in the States, I simply can't afford it. Honestly I'm way too stressed about this, and I'm overthinking this situation way too much. Once again I know I'm probably okay, but the situation still scares me and talking about it online definitely helps.
 

KertzHealth

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May 9, 2021
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My Goodness, I don't know how late I am. The chances are nearly less than winning the lottery, but I still worry about it.
 
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